One of the major themes in the last couple years in the SEO industry that is now critical to the success of every website is User Experience.
Google says their goal is to provide users with the most relevant results and a great user experience (source).Think about it. Google wants to be the best Search Engine. To be the best they need to give the best results. And who determines the best results? Users.
In the last couple years Google has begun integrating several User Experience factors into their algorithm. What grade would your website get for User Experience and more importantly, is User Experience helping or hindering your rankings?
What is User Experience?
In general terms, User Experience (also referred to as UX) is a person’s behavior, attitude and emotions towards a particular product, system or service. In the case of your website it is how a person interacts with your website.
Essentially User Experience is about ensuring your visitors find value in what your website provides. According to Peter Morville’s User Experience Honeycomb model a person can derive value in several ways. When applied to Google’s user experience factors in their algorithm, Morville’s model looks like this:
- Findable – Can they find you in the Search Engines?
- Useful – Do they find what they look for?
- Desirable – Is it what they want?
- Credible – Do they trust the information on your website?
- Accessible – Do the pages load fast enough? Can they click through pages to find the information they need?
- Usable – Do all the features including contact forms and links work?
What’s the connection between your website’s User Experience and SEO?
The example of a dating website comes to mind. A website like eHarmony or Match.com does a good job in getting you “found” by eligible individuals who meet your criteria. Once the site connects you with these people it is your job to court the individual, offer experiences and provide meaningful exchanges.
In the same way SEO helps you connect with qualified potential customers who are seeking what you offer. Once they arrive on your site (the “first date”) you need to offer something the visitor can’t find elsewhere. You need to impress. You need to keep them coming back for more dates.
Here is a helpful SEO and User Experience Chart to help you further understand the interaction:
User Experience Role
Best Website User Experience Tips
Ready to improve user experience on your website and promote your brand in the best light? Start with some of these easy tips …
- Make sure your navigation is easy to use.
- Make sure your website displays properly and is functional on all devices – including mobile devices and tablets.
- Make sure the pages on your website load fast (Google recommends less than 2 seconds).
- Create high quality content your visitor will want to read, and can’t find elsewhere.
- Organize the information on your site so it is structured and well presented.
- Add trust factors such as testimonials, awards and memberships.
- Keep your products and services information up to date.
Start Improving Website Experience Today!
Although high level tracking and analytics can greatly improve the usability of your website there are other affordable options to help you get started in assessing your website’s usability:
- Look at industry leader websites. These companies have likely spent thousands if not hundreds of thousands on perfecting their website. What themes do you see? What can you apply to your website?
- Ask friends, family members and even customers for their input on your website. Ask them to perform simple tasks on your website or browse through pages for 5-10 minutes. They will likely have a list of feedback for you.
- Read web design and marketing blogs. There is a lot of research out there that proves certain design concepts, layouts and website structure. Trust the numbers!
If you are still lost, give us a call at 1-888-262-6687. We can provide an SEO and User Experience Website Evaluation to help improve your website in respect to both SEO and User Experience! We also offer A/B split testing to improve conversion rates and user experience on your website.